*As President Obama attempted to tamp down the hubbub surrounding glitches in the HealthCare.gov website during a Rose Garden press conference, one of several hand-picked health care signees picked to stand behind him nearly passed out.
The leader of the free world turned and said, “I gotcha” to Karmel Allison, who got a little woozy as Obama was speaking. [Scroll down to watch.]
While holding her steady, he turned toward the crowd and joked, “This is what happens when I talk too long.”
The White House released the following description of Allison ahead of the president’s speech:
Karmel Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was nine years old. She has stayed on the same insurance ever since, despite constantly rising costs, for fear she would not be able to find a plan that would cover her due to her pre-existing condition. Allison recently began researching her options on CoveredCA and has publically described her experience as finally feeling equal to others, including her young and healthy husband, when it comes to access to coverage.
After the event, Allison thanked Obama for catching her and tweeted that she’s pregnant:
As for the website problems, President Obama said there was “no excuse,” but declared he was confident the administration would be able to fix the issues.
“There’s no sugarcoating it,” Obama said. “Nobody is more frustrated than I am.”
The president said his administration was doing “everything we can possibly do” to get the federally run websites up and running. And he guaranteed that everyone who wants to get insurance through the new health care exchanges will be able to.
The president insisted, however, that his health care law is about more than just a website.
“The essence of the law, the health insurance that’s available to people, is working just fine,” he said.
The White House says more than 19 million people have visited HealthCare.gov since the site went live on Oct. 1. Officials also say a half million people have applied for insurance on the federal- and state-run websites.
Administration officials initially blamed a high volume of interest for the frozen screens that many people encountered when they first logged on to the website. Since then, they have also acknowledged issues with software and some elements of the system’s design.
Below, Allison starts wobbling at :27.